The APO 200-500mm f/2.8 EX DG lens, which will arrive in April, is claimed to be the world’s first ultra-telephoto zoom lens that offers a fast aperture of f/2.8 at 500mm focal length.

It covers widely used focal lengths from 200mm to 500mm and has a large aperture of f/2.8 throughout the entire zoom range, and delivers autofocusing at the 1000mm focal length.

Sigma says that it is suited to astrophotography, portraiture and wildlife and sports photography among other applications.

It is constructed from 13 elements in 17 groups, which includes SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass and three ELD (Extraordinary Low Dispersion) glass elements to correct all type of aberrations.

The super multi-layer lens coating reduces flare and ghosting and "provides high image quality from the extremely large aperture", says Sigma.

The lens hood, which has been designed exclusively for this lens, blocks out extraneous light.

The manufacturer adds that a 72mm filter can be inserted at the rear of the lens, and a circular polarising filter can be used in situ thanks to the internal rotation mechanism.

Focusing distances and focal lengths can be viewed on the lens' built-in LCD panel.

A li-ion battery is used to power the zooming and autofocus operation, which is housed within the lens body.

The addition of a dedicated attachment produces a 400-1000mm f/5.6 ultra telephoto zoom lens that still retains auto focus.

This lens will set you back £15,999.99.

Key features at a glance:
- Minimum aperture: f/22
- Minimum focusing distance: 200-500cm
- Maximum magnification: 1:7.7
- Angle of view: 12.3°- 5°
- Filter size: 72mm (Rear)
- Weight: 15,700g
- Dimensions: 236.5mm(D)x726mm(L)
- Available fittings: Sigma AF, Canon AF and Nikon AF